Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Collaborative Agreement Announced Between California Stem Cell Agency and NIH

The California stem cell agency and the NIH today announced a collaborative agreement aimed at accelerating the transformation of basic research into cures.

The agreement came up several times during this morning's discussion of changes in CIRM's strategic plan in the context of leveraging the agency's efforts. Some directors indicated that the agreement could mean that CIRM could spend less on costly translational grant rounds. Here are some excerpts from the agency's press release.
"The memorandum of understanding signed by CIRM President Alan Trounson and Michael Gottesman, Deputy Director for Intramural Research at NIH, is a pilot project of these partnerships in clinical and translational research. This MOU establishes a framework to advance the complementary and synergistic goals of CIRM and the NIH to 'help NIH and CIRM researchers work together to bring their special talents in stem cell and regenerative medicine research to bear upon prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of various diseases.'"

"The NIH, through its trans-NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine (NIH CRM), the NIH Clinical Center, and the newly established NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics (NCTT), will foster these interactions. The NIH Clinical Center is the world’s largest hospital dedicated entirely to clinical research. The Center houses basic, translational and clinical research efforts of the NIH intramural research community, including the recently established NIH CRM funded through the NIH Common Fund."
The press release also mentioned possible opportunities for collaboration. It said,
"One relates to the current round of applications for CIRM’s Disease Team Therapy Development Research awards. During the planning phase of these awards, California teams could develop collaborations with researchers at the NIH Clinical Center on various aspects of a preclinical, Phase I, Phase I/II or Phase II clinical trial. Another option is to enable California researchers with the opportunity to take part in NIH Clinical Center visiting fellowship or clinical investigator training programs. A third is to access unique resources they could apply to use that may not be available at their home institution."

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